A consumer services unit inside the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection that fields thousands of calls every month from consumers with complaints about utility companies has been spared the budget axe.

Last month when the 14 employees in the unit received layoff notices the department claimed they were let go as part of the consolidation of the Department of Public Utility Control and Environmental Protection Department. But after receiving criticism from the legislature’s co-chairs of the Energy and Technology Committee the department reconsidered it position and determined the employees were protected by the labor concession package.

Dennis Schain, spokesman for the DEEP, said Monday that the jobs were covered by the labor agreement, but that’s not to say the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority won’t be reorganized at some point.

No formal announcement of the restoration of the positions was made, but letters went out to the 14 employees on Saturday to tell them their jobs had been spared.

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